It’s Okay: To Not Make Sex an Important Part of Your Life
In It’s Okay, we defend our most embarrassing, unpopular opinions.
Sexual preferences are unfortunately judged in extremes. If you like to have sex, you’re a slut, and society works to temper your promiscuous ways. If you dislike it, you’re a prude, and society tells you to ‘live a little’ with a million tips and tricks on how to be more sexual. For some people, both sides sound like exhausting archetypes, because they reflect a universal scrutiny on sex and sexuality.
There is a greater focus on shaming sluts over shaming prudes, because we see sex as so fundamental to our primary desires, and controllable only via monogamy and religion. Yet, the bias against people with low sex-drives still cuts hard, fueled by disbelief at the rejection of something so primal and pervasive. People who aren’t obsessed with sex must either be saints, priests and nuns, or children and senior citizens. For the rest, their lack of interest must be kept quiet, with the exception of shame-induced search queries like “What’s wrong with me if I don’t want to have sex all the time?” or “My partner/friends say I need to be more sexual please help?”
Yes, it may be an issue if your sex drive suddenly feels different than it used to. Or you may be looking for a sexual orientation that explains your lifelong low-to-nil sex drive (hello grey/asexuality!). But what if you just have a very run-of-the-mill interest in sex, and kind of want to keep it that way?
Society cannot fathom sex as a mundane, average part of someone’s life. Sex is omnipresent in our movies, in our Instagram feeds, in our many conversations with friends, and in the ways we choose to judge. If you’re not having the right kind of orgasm, or the right amount of sex, or not doing yourself up to anticipate sexual attention, you’re not living life to its full potential, or experiencing what is exalted as the most important pleasure that one can experience. If society has its way, sex must constantly be acknowledged and interrogated and celebrated and reviled, all at once. That sounds just a tad bit tiring, right?
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Over the past few decades, people have become more open about sex. But, amplified conversations about sex made their way into exaggerated media depictions and influenced personal expectations. This is partly why people feel the pressure to ‘succeed’ at sex, rather than being honest about what they really feel. Sex positivity encourages everyone to better understand the sex they have by communicating and breaking stigma around talking about sex. But there’s an implicit assumption that openness about sex is only reserved for those who have frequent sex and enjoy it.
In a growing sex-positive culture that welcomes transparency about sex lives, asserting your voluntary lack of interest in sex is also a sex-positive act. People have found ways to live long, peaceful lives with little-to-no engagement with sex, whether by choosing not to marry or by choosing partners who are comfortable with their low sexual needs. Societal pressures may make people believe that there is only one way to live life, but the truth is that possibilities are endless.
We know that sex is an enthralling, hormone-fueled, deeply intelligent joy for many. For others, its a middling, pleasant desire to indulge in occasionally. That’s fine. You’re not a prude, and you’re not a slut, you just have a preference, and you’ll be alright.